EDITORIAL: Make ferries part of highway

It’s time for Vancouver Island residents and especially businesses to take a stand and demand better ferry service.

BC Ferries quietly posted an ‘efficiency’ plan on the independent ferry commissioner’s website that has people living on Vancouver Island anything but quiet.

The corporation is pondering closing the ferry terminal at Departure Bay to all mid-Island traffic and diverting traffic bound for the island to Duke Point and Tsawwassen. Yes, the same run that is one of the few making pantloads of money for BC Ferries.

While BC Ferries officials noted they were only in the beginning stages of even talking about changes, and that public consultation would take place in 2015, now is the time for Vancouver Islanders to get noisy about our ferry service.

And that includes people in Port Alberni.

The ferries are not just used for passenger service to and from the Lower Mainland. They are also used to truck goods to the Island, and as such are a vital part of our province’s highway system.

So why aren’t they treated that way?

Mainlanders often scoff at Islanders and say, ‘you wanted to live on an island, you have to pay the price’. But would those Mainlanders be singing the same song if the provincial government suddenly decided to close one of their major highways or thoroughfares? Say Highway 99 or Highway 91? Telling them they can just go around?

We think not.

It’s time for Vancouver Island residents and especially businesses to take a stand and demand better ferry service.

Because we shouldn’t have to stand for our ferry service to be cut even further.

— Alberni Valley News